As Pizzigati writes, the messages coming from Swiss corporations such as Nestle and Novartis, as well as many corporate friendly lawmakers, have painted the picture that the initiative is “a frontal attack on freedom” — and “prosperity,” as declared by SwissHoldings, a federation of Swiss-based multinationals.

In another sampling of the rhetoric coming from the no campaign, Swiss lawmaker Ruedi Noser said the 1:12 proposition would turn Switzerland into the “North Korea of Europe.”

The fear-inducing tactics seem to be working, if the polls are any indication.

Meanwhile, “No major Swiss newspaper is supporting the 1:12 initiative,” said JUSO activist Mattea Meyer.

However, the game is far too early to call, Pizzigati notes. In a very similar showdown earlier this year, “Swiss corporate execs unleashed a similar political blitz,” he reports, “when corporate gadfly Thomas Minder, a successful entrepreneur, led a campaign to give shareholders more say over top executive pay — and ban executive new-hire and ‘golden parachute’ bonuses.” That initiative passed with an overwhelming 67.9 percent voting against the “fat cats” in favor of the regulations.

“I’m optimistic,” said JUSO’s David Roth in an interview last week. “We have our chance. We’re up against the big companies who spend millions. I can tell you that our opponents are nervous.”


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